There were many animes that made me love anime. Sailor Moon, Pokemon, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Clannad and Fruits Basket, these were my introduction to anime and what built up to my love for anime. But then after saving a billion ship photos of Haruhi and Kyon and rewatching Fruits Basket 3 times, I decided to find a new anime which was Lovely Complex. I discovered this anime after my sister mentioned it and the way she described sounded like my situation back then with the tall girl and short guy and I watched it and it instantly became the greatest thing that ever appeared on screen. But that was 2 years ago and my opinions and taste have changed a fair bit so how do I feel now about this anime?
Lovely Complex follows Risa Koizumi who is 170cm tall, much taller than the average girl. Along with her is Atsushi Otani who is 156cm tall, much shorter than the average boy. Risa and Otani constantly argue causing them to be known as All Hanshin-Kyojin (Japanese comedians). Risa one day falls in love with the tall yet quiet Suzuki and Otani falls for Risa’s friend, the short and shy Chiharu. Risa and Otani put aside their differences and team up to win over their love interest though Chiharu and Suzuki start liking one another instead but after this Risa and Otani become closer which could possibly build up to something more…
Lovely Complex as a romance anime is fantastic. It is a fine example of a well balanced rom-com, neither of the elements overpower each other. The romance built up very well leading up to the scene where they get together (you knew it’ll happen so it’s not a spoiler). My problem I have with the plot is that the time-skips are far too large but the pacing isn’t bad. The anime’s time skip goes from Christmas all the way to Valentine’s day and then first day of the new school year. After episode 18 the plot becomes rather bland and loses the excitement that made the series good. I mean the anime started off normal with humor, good bonding, unrequited love but then jumped to standard shojo anime romance and I mean with rival characters that try to fuck shit up and development for side characters but at this point of the series you just don’t care about these episodes. But the last episode is pretty good, not the best way to conclude the series but it’s still satisfying besides this is pretty much how the manga ends. So don’t let what I said about episodes after episode 18 (so 5/24 episodes) ruin the series for you.
Risa and Otani are both great main characters. Risa is nothing like your average shojo female lead, she isn’t shy, she isn’t overly positive and kind, she isn’t bossy and smart, she is different to any stereotype in shojo anime. Risa is loud, funny and incredibly relatable. Otani isn’t like any shojo male lead either. Otani is incredibly oblvious, arrogant but soft-hearted and quite silly. He is likable but frustrating separating him from other shojo male leads who are unrealistically likable. The relationship between Risa and Otani is fantastic, considering they started of hating one another but then became best friends and it grew to something more.
The side characters are incredibly under-developed. Though I did like Nobu, Haruka, Seiko and Maity-sensei, they still lacked an incredible amount of development. The other characters I didn’t mention weren’t that interesting. Besides we have two other relationships other then the main couple but we didn’t give any of them enough attention and by the time they got their own episode it was too late for us to care and their problems seemed kind of forced. Nobu’s main purpose was advising Risa and I enjoyed that but I want to care about her relationship with Nakao because it seems like a strong relationship. Even worse is though Nakao is somewhat likable he didn’t get enough for me to care for him, he is Otani’s best friend he needs more depth into his character.
For an anime licensed by the same anime studio who did the pretty crappy animation for the Dragon Ball franchise, One Piece and Sailor Moon Crystal this is really good animation+art. I mean at first it looks a little weird (my opinion from 2 years ago when I first saw it) but you get use to it and realize this is actually really good. Well done Toei.
The OST is fantastic. I especially love the music that plays in the end of episode 18, Orchestra na Risa I mean that song is stunning and so fitting to the build up to the amazing scene that came with it. That is not the only song that stood out, majority of the soundtrack in Lovely Complex stands out without distracting you from the scene but at the same time allows you to be captivated in the music along with what’s going on. The first opening is great because of how upbeat and most of all how perfect it is with the nature of Lovely Complex. The ending fits the anime as well coming off as touching but not exactly something that doesn’t fit well in a romantic comedy anime. The second opening is great as well but doesn’t really make much sense if you read the lyrics but still fitting for this anime. However the second ending didn’t stand out at all. I couldn’t get into it and just wanted to move onto the next episode.
The voice acting is great. Akira Nagata is perfect for Otani and I really wish he was in more animes. Even the side characters had great voice acting. However Seiko’s voice may be a problem because of how high pitched it is. Her voice has become the reason people don’t like her but for me, Seiko’s voice becomes a lot more tolerable the more I watched this anime but re-watching it this year I remembered how annoyed I was at first with her voice so it takes some getting use to though some people will never get used to it. But I must give so much credit to Akemi Okamura as Risa. A fact about Lovely Complex is that they live in Osaka and they a certain way of talking called the Kansai dialect and basically everyone of the cast is voiced by a Kansai voice actor but Okamura on the other hand was born in Tokyo so she has a Kanto dialect and because of this she had to try perform a Kansai dialect for this role I’m not Japanese to understand these dialects but hearing how a Kansai dialect sounds like I think this performance is very impressive both for the dialect and well the voice in general. Unfortunately this anime has no dub and I will be forever pissed off because if any anime needs an English dub it’s this one. I can imagine Todd Haberkorn as Otani, Vic Mignogna as Haruka, Stephanie Sheh or Carrie Savage as Chiharu ugh America you gave us the shitty dub of Doki Doki School Hours which didn’t need it so why not this one!!!
Grading (Music): B+
Grading (Voice Acting): B
Overall Lovely Complex is an excellent romance anime. I loved its music, voice acting, animation and most of all the story and characters. However I can never ignore its faults and I want to give this anime a B+ but its faults makes me realize it doesn’t really deserve it. The side characters are incredibly under-developed and 5 episodes after episode 18 just aren’t that interesting and the things that went on are kind of forced. However if you ever want me to introduce you to a romance anime, I highly recommend one of my old-time favorites, Lovely Complex awarding it with a B go ahead and watch it, it’s a well-deserving anime.
Itazura na Kiss
The main reason to why these two animes are alike is because both Risa and Itazura na Kiss’ female lead, Kotoko are somewhat similar because they both pull the best faces.
But besides that the romance in both animes are somewhat similar both following unrequited love and arguments. Of course both romances are touching and convincing and they both have many other couples, heck the other couple in Itazura na Kiss are my favorite couple in the show and made it up as honorable mentions on my couples list.
Well both follow height complexities though Hiyokoi is reverse and though Lovely Complex makes short girl-tall guy sound normal, Hiyokoi says otherwise when you’re 50cm shorter than your man. Risa is the complete opposite of Hiyori and Otani is not much like Yuushin but this goes to show how Hiyori’s small height makes her stand out less causing her to be shy and Yuushin’s height makes him stand out making him very loud and confident much like how Risa’s height makes her stand out too much making her loud (when you get down to it she’s kind of a female Yuushin) and how Otani’s height makes him stand out less and rather then being shy he is just a short-tempered male tsundere. The point is our main characters heights do affect their personalities which both Lovely Complex and Hiyokoi present very well.
Till next time! Next review according to my poll voted by you guys will Toradora 🙂